We like La Paz. It’s hard work walking anywhere for more than a couple of minutes, given that we’re at over 13,300 feet, but the hustle and bustle of the high life here is worth getting out of breath for.

La Paz By Day

Not that it started that well. Our first hostel (rated número uno on Trip Advisor, mind you) was pretty poor. The room was windowless, the walls were painted with garish and nausea-inducing murals and the shower seemed as if it could be used to efficiently finish off a Death Row inmate. Turning it on via rubber insulated taps invariably meant producing green sparks out of the top. We are coming to inspect such things in Bolivia, but when wearing flip-flops in the shower goes further than protecting just your feet, you know it’s probably time to move on.

Once settled in a much more comfy place a few doors down, we began to explore the city. There are a few main things that are apparent. First, as mentioned above, the altitude can sap you quickly, leaving you breathless and feeling generally bad. Luckily, there are plenty of places to drink coca tea, and it’s a good excuse for a good few little sit-downs! Second, the city is vast but easy to navigate. Want to get to the centre? Go downhill. Lost? Go downhill and work out which side of the valley you need to be on.

La Paz By Night

Perhaps the most striking thing about La Paz though, is the fact that there is barely a street you visit that is not crowded with market stalls. Tesco, Sainsburys and the like have not a chance here! Furthermore, each street is a virtual supermarket aisle, with numerous stalls selling the same category of goods. Need sports wear and trophies? Head to the top part of Calle Santa Cruz. Need a new zip for your trousers? Get your self to the bottom of Calle Graneros. Need some parts for your engine? You need Calle Ingavi. Need a dried llama foetus? Calle Jimanez is where to go.

Clean-up on aisle four!

It goes on, across a whole city of over a million people, on almost every street. It’s like a giant Asda at altitude. Goodness knows what people do when they’re not buying and selling things. But it’s great to be amongst. Who needs museums and art galleries anyway?

4 Comments to “La Paz – Asda At Altitude”

  • Reminds me of parts of Istanbul, judging from the description of the shopping experience. perhaps though you are not so constantly assailed with offers of tea and ‘looky looky’?

  • Love la Paz!! Pick me up a llama foetus will yer?

  • Really enjoying blog, feel like im visiting places with you while in the comfort of my own home. Thanks Helen and paul

    • Glad to have you along! X